As a Community Trust, we would like to thank The Trusts for their gift of $100,000 which was given to VisionWest’s Pātaka Kai during the period of lockdown. The funds will help us continue to support whānau with food over the coming twelve months.
In a recent media release, The Trusts acknowledged the work of VisionWest and the extra demand there was for emergency food parcels during lockdown coupled with the expectation that that demand will continue for some time. Matt Williams, acting CEO of The Trusts said they are working with a range of community organisations who have had their usual source of funding disrupted during the lockdown. “There is a growing need from charities who have been cut off from their normal supply of resources which is impacting on their ability to support members of our community.
While what Matt Williams says is true, the food supply challenge is also related to a recent significant increase in demand. Over the lockdown period, VisionWest saw a 185% increase in the demand for food with the number of families being helped growing from 350 to over 1,000. Even at Level 2, Pātaka Kai is packing and delivering over 1,000 food parcels each week.
Brook Turner, Head of Community Service Development at VisionWest, says of the increasing demand, “The first wave exposed the level of food insecurity in New Zealand, but this second wave of need will be at the end of the wage subsidy and we’re already seeing cracks in the surface with redundancies. I believe there will also be a third wave, with businesses getting through September, October and November and then collapsing.”
In recognition of the community’s need for food, The Trusts gave $200,000 in total, split evenly between two community emergency food providers. VisionWest was one with Fair Food being the other. Fair Food is an organisation which collects surplus food from retailers and manufacturers before distributing it to organisations involved in food parcel distribution.
Again, VisionWest acknowledges their deep appreciation to The Trusts for their generous grant.
CLICK HERE to watch The AM Show’s television interview with Brook Turner speaking about the increasing demand for help with food.